Jackets “smash” new e-intramurals leagues

A competitive gamer plays on a desktop computer. Tech has recently introduced eIntramurals this semester. Students can participate in leagues and compete in many games including FIFA. // Photo by courtesy of unknews.unk.edu

This fall, alongside cornhole and volleyball, Jackets have been busy playing eIntramurals, a sport category very apt for Tech.

This season, Call of Duty (CoD), Mario Kart, FIFA, League of Legends, NBA 2K, Overwatch, Rocket League, Smash Bros, and Valorant are offered via IMLeagues.

Students are responsible for buying their own equipment and setting up games.

Interestingly, most of the teams competing are fraternities with the occasional recreational club or sorority.

Nikola Porto, a second-year PHYS/EE major, is captain of Phi Sigma Kappa’s Call of Duty team.

Porto also serves as the VP of intramurals for Phi Sig and is Technique’s informant about the world of eSports at Tech.

As opposed to methodically scheduled games, Porto says that “there is instead a Discord server made with all the captains of the teams, and it’s up to them to be proactive and ask other captains to schedule games.”

Porto expressed the difficulty of lacking a single organizing force.

“This honestly makes it kinda hard, and at least in the league I’m in, there are very few teams that actually [contact each other].”

The makeup of the team depends on the game.

According to Porto, a game like CoD is mostly played by fraternities, but others are more evenly made up of frats and non-frats.

In addition to team eSports, there are solo sports such as Smash Bros and Rocket League in which one person competes against other solo players.

Usually, there are between one and six players on any team.

Because of the disappointingly inactive nature of the eIntramurals Discord, Phi Sig has only played one match of CoD’s console game.

“The atmosphere is pretty chilled out. A lot of people are confused about the rules, and there are no referees, so there’s a lot of time spent at the beginning of each match trying to figure everything out and communicating over voice chat with the other team about how they want to play.”

While the domain of eSports is admittedly incomparable to the athleticism of traditional sports, it has been an excellent pastime for students during COVID-19.

“I think one thing I enjoy is that I can do it in my room as opposed to having to put on certain clothes to go to the CRC,” says Porto.

“I will say that it sucks that for people to participate, they need to own a multi-hundred dollar console and the game itself.”

This financial burden on students makes the formation of teams difficult and favors people sharing the expense. This explains the preponderance of Greek organizations over individual Tech students.

It seems that each team within one division attributes a very different level of gravity to each game.

“I’ve been playing a lot of CoD, so that’s my favorite right now, even though I only play casually. The people I’ve played so far in the leagues have not been all that casual,” says Porto.

When asked what he’d change about eIntramurals at Tech in the future, Porto says that he wishes “they’d actually create a schedule so we’d have scheduled matches from the start.”

“I just feel like it’d make the whole process a lot smoother and actually get games going rather making it up to the people to decide.”

“When there’s a set schedule people will make sure they’re free during that time.”

The lack of centralized referees and rules is a serious issue for eSports players.

Porto and his peers wish they had “people who know stuff about the game to make the rules because, at least for CoD, a lot of the rules are kinda dumb and then it’s more of an honor code decided between the two teams concerning what rules they want to follow.”

Porto does not claim to have a least favorite game and plans to play League of Legends in Phase 2, which begins on Oct.11.

It is worth at least checking eIntamurals out, even if only to see the questionable (but excellent) player names.